Chicago's Studio Gang: Architecture With the Environment Built In

All of Studio Gang's buildings prioritize environmentally-friendly design, but often in ways you would never guess.

On Wednesday, we met Studio Gang, our second innovators on the Edge of Progress Tour. Here is some of our conversation with them.


Studio Gang is a Chicago-based architectural firm whose work defies easy classification. Sure, they designed Aqua, the most buzzed about skyscraper to go up in Chicago in recent years, but they're also currently working on an educational center highlighting the ecology of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Their site-specific approach means that there's no such thing as a signature Studio Gang style, but all of their buildings prioritize environmentally-friendly design, often in ways you would never guess.

We chatted with managing architect Margaret Cavenagh and project manager Beth Zacherle about two of Studio Gang's projects, the Ford Calumet Environment Center and the South Pond at Lincoln Park Zoo. You should also check out their Solstice on the Park project, an apartment building with windows angled at a precise slope that causes the Chicago sun to bounce off, drastically lowering heating costs.

Image: Sky Reflection 02, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from chrysomori's photostream.